steve jones

Top 10 Ways to Keep Horses Safe and how EQR can help

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We invest time and money to protect our homes and property, and often without realizing it, leave our horses vulnerable to theft from home, at shows or while traveling. Most of us personally know at least one person who has suffered the horrific violation of having a horse stolen. It’s time for the equine community to band together and take every step possibly to prevent horse theft. The measures provided can, at the very least, make it very uncomfortable for a thief to target and successfully profit from the theft of YOUR horse.

#10. Brand, microchip or tattoo.

While all three methods are beneficial, we at EQR highly recommend freeze branding. A branded horse is not a good target of theft, and will most often be passed over in preference of an unbranded target.

A brand greatly increases expedient, successful owner identification. A brand registered with your state can be used as proof of ownership. A brand registered with EQR provides a route for national identification and internet search-ability within our database, accessible by the public, law enforcement and animal welfare.

A horse with a brand is carrying his own source of identification which can not only help deter theft, but bring him home in the event of loss or natural disaster.

#9. Truck & Trailer Decals.

Chances are you personally know at least one person or family who have had their trailer stolen from a show, event, camping or even from home. Often, including their precious horses and valuable tack. The personal, emotional and financial loss can be phenomenal.

By adhering vinyl truck and trailer decals, your property becomes much less desirable a target. As EQR members, you may special order decals containing YOUR personal brand, farm name, and EQR emergency contact information, making it easier to identify your trailer from long distances. EQR works with our members and law enforcement in the event of theft to help in identification of property and provide media blasts not only to law enforcement, but to the public as well.

The best defense is to deter theft and make your property the least desirable target. As a second defense, EQR will make it very hard for whomever stole your property to hide!

Members: it is critical to keep your EQR membership profiles current and up to date with photos of your registered horses and trailers so that we BEST SERVE YOU should you need us.

#8. Mark Your Tack.

Marking the underside of your tack can help make identifying your property easier as well as deter prospective thieves. A number of methods may be used to mark your tack, including; permanent marker, leather engraving, identifying conchos and other silver type embellishments. Many of us at EQR prefer branding the undersides of our tack and recommend this method of marking tack.

When you order a branding iron from Pittsburg Foundry, you can also purchase a mini-iron perfect for such tasks. The mini-iron can also be used to brand steaks, wood decor and other items. By the way, all EQR members receive a discount coupon from Pittsburg Foundry saving members $40.00 off typical market price AND includes a FREE truck/trailer decal with your brand.  Now, your horses, truck/trailer and tack all carry your brand!

Visit our friends and sponsors at Pittsburg Foundry: http://www.freeze-brands.com/

#7. When You’re Away.

We often load up one or two horses and haul for a day of riding, leaving the rest of the herd at home. Not to mention long periods of time we may be away due to work or other reasons. These are times when neighbors or passersby may be the only eyes on our horses. What if our horses get out? Or are seen ‘down’ in their pasture, sick or injured? Often our neighbors have no idea what to do or how to handle an equine emergency, and no way to contact the horse owners.

Every EQR member receives a free outdoor emergency sign which can be mounted on a fence post, gate or barn. Additional signs may be purchased at any time. Each sign contains the EQR ‘hotline’ phone number, which is answered 24/7. Anytime an at-home emergency call is made in behalf of one of our member’s horses, EQR will personally contact that member with a report. Your privacy is ensured while a contact number is publicly posted for neighbors, passersby or even the police to be able to get word back to you regarding any emergency at home, through EQR. THAT’S security!

#6. Proof of Ownership.

Establish an organized, easy-to-find proof-of-ownership file. To save valuable time and frustration in proving ownership should a theft occur, keep on file:

a. Registration papers (if horse is registered with a breed association);
b. Dated bill of sale and/or breed association transfer-of-ownership paperwork;
c. Photographs; and
d. Description of mark or brand and written description of all unique characteristics.

All EQR members have the option of privately storing a digital copy of all such papers in their EQR membership profile, as well as current coggins test. All stored documents are for our member’s use only, and can be accessed by logging in to your membership profile from any location where internet is available, by computer, cell phone or other web enabled device. Documents may be printed from your file. Your documents are kept safe and will always be there should you need them for any reason, whether to assist in proving ownership or to temporarily replace lost or damaged originals.  This EQR service is free, and is included in all memberships.

#5.  House Away From the Road.

If you plan to build a barn or corral, locate it away from the road. Place facilities beyond your house if at all possible. They are less likely targets if they are more difficult to access and require thieves to pass a house. Lock gates to pastures that can be entered from the road.

Do not hang halters and lead ropes on stall fronts, corral gate posts or anywhere in the open. Secure halters in a locked tack room or feed room. Never leave halters on pastured horses.

EQR endeavors to provide theft prevention measures, deterring potential theft by publicly informing visitors that your farm and horses are protected by membership with EQR.  While EQR is not law enforcement, we believe that by working closely with law enforcement, sale barns, veterinarians, branding professionals, state brand registration entities, animal control agencies, borders/customs, and all forms of public media, that equine theft can be deterred and thwarted, and that horses may enjoy a life-line of security in an often cruel and unforgiving world.

#4. Photograph horses and keep photos current.

Photograph both sides of the horse as close as possible, being sure to get the entire horse in the frame. Although saddles, blankets, leg wraps and people may look good in a photo, they often impair the photo’s usefulness for identification. Take close-up pictures of any unique, identifying characteristics such as a brand, permanent scar or white markings.

At EQR, we recommend taking side views, both sides, with all 4 feet showing. Front and rear photos are certainly helpful as well. Within each EQR Member Profile, is an area where members are to upload photos of each of their horses, enter identifying marks, brands, microchip info, tattoos, etc. Members may also store digital scans of registration papers, current coggins, health papers, immunization and deworming records, so forth. This is a free service to all our members and a handy way to keep all your important documents and identification photos in one convenient location, accessible from any computer, smart phone or other web enabled device.

#3. Be able to identify quickly and without doubt.

“All my horses are branded and micro chipped. In case of theft or escape, I want to be able to identify mine quickly and without doubt.” Steve Jones, 33 years with LSU and the Arkansas Extension Services and State Equine Specialist.

Horses and equipment are stolen from barns, farms, pastures, boarding and training facilities, competitive events-even from backyards. Tracking stolen horses can be difficult because theft reports are often delayed and stolen horses can change hands frequently and at remote locations.

EQR members have a strong support system, first to assist in DETERRING theft, and second to QUICKLY assist in publicizing theft to the proper sources, media and public, and finally to assist in recovery and return in the unfortunate event of theft. Membership with EQR provides a lifeline to your equine companions and stock!

#2. Lifetime registration with EQR.

Upon joining EQR, members have the option to purchase a Lifetime Registration for each of their horses. Each Lifetime Horse remains in the EQR database as long as he/she lives. Registration is transferable from owner to owner for the life of that horse, and is given as a certificate. Should a horse end up in an undesirable situation years down the road, EQR will contact the person of interest who registered that horse, providing them the opportunity to rescue the horse and bring him back home, regardless of whether that person’s membership had been maintained over the years.

Brooke Ferguson, pictured here, has played a very active role in rehabbing and rehoming rescue horses through her family farm, Journey’s End Horses, where each rescue is given Equine Quick Response’s “Lifeline for a Lifetime”, to ensure they will always have a way back home. 

#1. All of the Above.

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Numerous Reasons for Theft Prevention and Identification Measures

By Steven Jones, 33 years with LSU and the Arkansas Extension Services and State Equine Specialist.

Steven Jones, Equine Specialist and Horseman

Steven Jones, Equine Specialist and Horseman

As I write this article, the social media abounds with discussions and updates about horses and a trailer stolen from the campus of Southern Arkansas University. Within hours, after the theft there were e-mails, Facebook messages and phone calls circulating around the horse community.

With horse descriptions and pictures of some, recognizing the horses would be simple. Good job horse community! I suspect the perpetrators suddenly felt a coarse rope quickly tightening around their worthless necks. As of today, (less than a week later) the trailer has been located in a neighboring state and suspects have been identified. Unfortunately, the horses have not been found. I hope they are found safe and no worse for the experience. My empathy goes out to those owners that have to go through this experience through no fault of theirs. My sources are telling me that law enforcement is piecing together the motive and if true, is most bizarre! I love most people, but am sometimes stunned by the stupid, selfish and irrational motivation of some. Let’s hope this story has a happy ending for the owners and the horses. For the guilty, I could care less!

There are times when you want to be able to quickly identify your horse other than theft. With the start of  deer season every year, unethical hunters cut fences, ride ATVs’ through fences, leave gates open, etc. I hear these stories from landowners way too often. Though intentional or even accidental, the result can be the same: loose livestock. You want to be able to advertise and identify your horses as soon as possible to prevent catastrophic consequences, particular motor vehicle collisions. Natural disasters such as wind storms, ice storms, and tornadoes produce the same results as an open gate.

During hurricane Katrina, horses with permanent identification was returned home or returned to their owners within a week. Those that had no permanent identification were not matched with their owners for two – six months. Some were never identified. Our Tornado in Arkansas that devastated the Vilonia area was a microcosm of the above mega disaster. Identifiable animals were quickly re-united back to their owners; those with no permanent I.D. took several weeks.

There are several permanent identification options including fire brands, freeze brands, and lip tattoos. These are old and proven. Brands are theft deterrents because of their visibility. New technology is the microchip. Though not visible, microchips are registered with several organizations and make a definitive identification with traceability to ownership. There is also DNA sampling.

JEbrand

All my horses are branded and micro chipped

All my horses are branded and micro chipped. In case of theft or escape, I want to be able to identify mine quickly and without doubt.

Horses and equipment are stolen from barns, farms, pastures, boarding and training facilities, competitive events-even from backyards. Tracking stolen horses can be difficult because theft reports are often delayed and stolen horses can change hands frequently and at remote locations.

Individual horse owners can take steps in the management and care of horses, facilities and equipment to minimize the risk of theft. Here are 15 steps to curbing horse theft. At least some of them should be applicable for every horse owner.

1. Permanently mark horses using one or more methods. Thieves are less likely to steal horses that are permanently marked, and those that are stolen are easier to track and recover. Horses can be marked permanently by:

  • Freeze brand (using customized, number or letter iron and by alpha angle code methods);
  • Hot iron brand;
  • Microchip (implant); and/or
  • Lip tattoo.

2. Photograph horses and keep photos current.

Photograph both sides of the horse as close as possible, being sure to get the entire horse in the frame. Although saddles, blankets, leg wraps and people may look good in a photo, they often impair the photo’s usefulness for identification. Photograph the front of the horse, being sure to get a clear picture of the head. If possible also take a rear view. Take close-up pictures of any unique, identifying characteristics such as a brand, permanent scar or white markings.

3. Establish an organized, easy-to-find proof-of-ownership file. To save valuable time and frustration in proving ownership should a theft occur, keep on file:

a. Registration papers (if horse is registered with a breed association);
b. Dated bill of sale and/or breed association transfer-of-ownership paperwork;
c. Photographs; and
d. Description of mark or brand and written description of all unique characteristics.

 4. Record the permanent brands with your state livestock commission.  Registration helps law enforcement officers and brand inspectors communicate and determine ownership, and can speed the process of filing theft reports.

5. Secure barns, corrals or pens from the road with a good perimeter fence and well-built gates that can be locked.

Slowing a potential horse thief and/or making access to horses more difficult can deter theft significantly. Well-built perimeter fences help secure horses and deter theft.

6. If you plan to build a barn or corral, locate it away from the road. Place facilities beyond your house if at all possible. They are less likely targets if they are more difficult to access and require thieves to pass a house. Lock gates to pastures that can be entered from the road.

7. Manage pastured horses to make theft more difficult. For safety as well as theft deterrence, never leave halters on pasture horses. Do not feed horses close to the pasture gate or near the road. Although convenient for owners, this practice actually helps potential thieves. Hungry horses will congregate around the usual feeding area making them easy to catch. Keep pasture gates locked. Check on pasture horses regularly and vary the time of your trips to the pasture.  Absentee owners sometimes don’t realize for several days that their horses have been stolen from pastures.

8. Do not hang halters and lead ropes on stall fronts, corral gate posts or anywhere in the open.  Secure halters in a locked tack room or feed room.

9. Make horse and livestock trailers inaccessible, hide them from view and be able to prove ownership.

Quick action and persistent legwork are crucial to recovering a stolen horse. The actions you take in the first 24 hours after a horse is stolen can mean the difference between recovery and loss. Longtime persistence can also pay off, as horses have been reunited with their owners even years after the theft. To improve your chances of recovering a stolen horse, act quickly to report and spread the word about the theft. Begin recovery efforts by reporting the theft to the law enforcement agency with primary jurisdiction in your area. Be sure to obtain a case number and a copy of the incident report, and keep original copies of all police and/or sheriff reports. You may have to prove that the horse was stolen. Important papers need to be gathered to help identify the horse and prove ownership.

The media are a powerful resource. Ask radio stations to air a public service announcement with theft and reward information. Use personal media (Facebook, etc) to notify the horse community. Read the “horse” or “livestock” column in classified sections and on websites. A high percentage of the ads are legitimate. However, unscrupulous horse traders also use classified ads to sell or obtain tack, trailers, and horses.

Celebration of the Horse

DATE: May 31, 2014
TIME: 9am – 5:30pm
WHERE: Crossroads Cowboy Church, 3071 Highway 5, El Paso, Arkansas 72045
WEBSITE: www.celebrationofthehorse.com
EVENT PAGE:  Facebook Celebration of the Horse

web-flier1Equine Quick Response, LLC (EQR) is very excited to announce the upcoming equine event: Celebration of the Horse. This event will take place on May 31, 2014 at the Crossroads Cowboy Church aka Two Bar Two Arena in El Paso, Arkansas.  The first event kicks off at 9am with Arkansas’ state recognized equine specialist, Steve Jones.  Steve will be conducting a training clinic during the morning hours entitled: From the Ground to the Saddle.  During this event, several volunteers will be bringing in their horses who may be experiencing various types of training issues.  Steve will work with each horse and rider individually to assist in resolving their issues.  There are still a few slots remaining and those interested in participating in this free clinic are encouraged to register (see the form below).  Steve will also start the afternoon session by presenting a saddle fitting demonstration.

During the afternoon session, a competitive trail clinic and competition will be held.  ACTHA Ride Host, Kay Carmody of the J Bar K Ranch in Hartmon, AR, will provide instruction regarding a selection of approved competitive trail obstacles and tips for successfully performing such obstacles.  Volunteer participants will then perform the obstacles in front of the audience, and will be judged and scored by ACTHA Judge, Kirk Davis.  Ribbons will be awarded based on horse and rider scores.  Participant slots are still available but filling fast.  Those interested in participating in this free clinic are encouraged to register using the form below.

Not only will this one day event be host to two great clinics, the entire day is jam packed with topics of interest to a variety of horse enthusiasts.  Entertainment will be provided by Bullseye the Rodeo Clown and his dog, Jester.  Music will be performed during the lunch break by area favorite, Rodger King.  Rusty and Lori Winchester of Winchester Performance Horses, of Searcy, AR, will present two great exhibitions: Cutting Horse Demonstration with Winchester Performance Horses (cutting buffalo) and a Working Cattle Dog Demonstration.

Other demonstrations on the schedule include Freeze Branding by AJ Buffalo Neal and Equine Sports Massage Therapy by Kirk Davis.  Equine Nutrition Counselor, Lisa Evans will be available for discussions in the Equine Services area, as well as a Coggins / Immunization Clinic from 9am – 1pm by Laura Mobley, DVM.

flagThe day’s events will conclude with a Ceremonial Flag Ride to salute and honor American Servicemen and Women.  Those who are, or who represent current and formerly serving Military, Reserves, National Guard, Veterans, Peace Officers, Fire Fighters, EMT or Linemen are encouraged to ride and represent. Riders may carry flags representing their branch of service or American flags, and may also ride without a flag. Riders may also ride in honor of a loved one lost in the line of duty.  Announcements of loved ones names and service will be made for those whom information is provided.  Space is limited, only registered riders may participate.  Please join us, ride and salute!   (register using the form below)

Come for the fun, the entertainment, education or inspiration.  Or bring your horse for coggins, immunizations, freeze branding, saddle fitting, or massage.  It will be a great day of equine activities the entire family is sure to enjoy, entry is free!

For more information visit the website: www.celebrationofthehorse.com

If you’d like to participate in either clinic or the flag ride, please sign up below: